How good is Andre Onana?
Several reports have suggested that Arsenal intend to buy Ajax’s former number one Andre Onana this summer, regardless of the result of his hearing on Wednesday on doping violation.
25 years is a pretty young age for a goalkeeper. And when you combine it with world class qualities, it just puts a cherry on the cake.
Just 18 months ago, Onana was valued almost double of his current market worth of £27.00m. Although it seems Arsenal will be paying even a lot less than that figure if the deal goes through this week! European heavyweights like Bayern Munich and Chelsea were seriously linked to him before his one-year ban by UEFA in February, and would not have made much nuisance about paying in the £40-50 million region for the Ajax star.
Nobody could have argued with the interested suitors that they were overpaying for the former La Masia graduate. Before his suspension, he kept 83 clean sheets and shipped in just 180 goals for Ajax in his 204 appearances for them. That’s less than a goal per match.
His exceptional numbers are not only limited to the Eredivisie, as the shot-stopper has kept 20 clean sheets in European tournaments in the form of Champions League and the Europa League. Conceding just 65 goals from 53 games (including qualifiers) is an impressive number for a player who was still in his early 20s.
When placed in the same bracket of established Premier League goalkeepers, his figures look even more promising. Onana had a Save Percentage of 80% and 77.8% in the Domestic and the Champions League respectively. He was slightly ahead of Manchester City’s Ederson, whose figures stood at 75% and 77.3%.
Although Liverpool’s Alisson outshone him in the Champions League by the tiniest of margins (Alisson’s SP is 78.3% and Onana’s is 77.8%), the Cameroonian, who has won two league titles with Ajax, topped the pair when it came to the Domestic league (Onana’s number is 80% while Alisson’s is 74.8%).
When Onana’s figures were collated with Arsenal’s number one shot-stopper in Bernd Leno, it would not be harsh to say that they cannot be named in the same breath.
The German’s levels are way below (69.2 in Premier League; 69 in Europa League) than the Cameroonian.
Onana’s hands will not be the only thing that Arsenal will be cashing in on. The goalkeeper’s legs are no less special than his own hands. There are few shot-stoppers in the entire world who are as comfortable and effective when playing out from the back than the 25-year-old.
The Pass Completion, Passes Attempted and Pass Completion Percentage numbers (>40 yards) give us more context of the talent the Cameroon international possesses.
Onana’s numericals stood at 8.33, 17.83 and 46.7%. While Ederson’s was 3.95, 8.57 and 46.1%, Alisson’s numbers stood at 4.20, 8.59 and 48.9%. Putting Leno in the same conversation doesn’t do much justice to the trio.
The German’s figures were at a lowly 3.03, 9.37 and 32.3%.
The above stats show that Manchester City and Liverpool hardly play much long balls. But when they do, they have goalkeepers who are effective at doing that. Ajax’s Andre Onana is almost neck to neck with his Premier League compatriots.
And given that Onana is 42 months younger than Alisson and 32 months younger than Ederson, we can come to one conclusion, that he has a higher ceiling for development than the two.
The price at which he is available makes the deal even more appealing. Thus, Arsenal can complete a shrewd signing if they acquire the services of the Cameroonian, a player destined for the top.